Famous 19th Century Botanists

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Botanists, including Charles Darwin, George Washington Carver, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Matthias Jakob Schleiden and Jan Smuts.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel
6
Famous As: Meteorologist, Mathematician, Biologist
Birthdate: July 20, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hynčice, Vražné, Czechia
Died: January 6, 1884

A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.

 2 Jagadish Chandra Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose
18
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 30, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh)
Died: November 23, 1937

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the Bose Institute, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

 3 John Muir

John Muir
4
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: April 21, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunbar
Died: December 24, 1914

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, botanist, zoologist, and author. Nicknamed Father of the National Parks and John of the Mountains, Muir was an influential proponent of the preservation of wilderness in the US. He is credited with co-founding the American conservation organization, The Sierra Club. Muir is considered a hero by many environmentalists around the world.

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 4 Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes
4
Famous As: Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958

Apart from being a successful botanist, Marie Stopes was also a popular activist, known for her contribution to the feminist cause. A leading supporter of birth control, she established the UK’s first clinic for family planning. She was also known for her books Married Love and Wise Parenthood.

 5 Gifford Pinchot

Gifford Pinchot
8
Famous As: Forestry scientist
Birthdate: August 11, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Simsbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: October 4, 1946

 6 Joseph Banks

Joseph Banks
6
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 24, 1743
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 19, 1820

British naturalist Joseph Banks is remembered for accompanying Captain James Cook on his voyage across places such as Brazil and Tahiti. He had also been the president of the Royal Society for over 40 years. Both his herbarium and library now find a place at the British Museum.

 7 Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll
8
Famous As: Horticulturist, Painter, Gardener, Non-fiction writer, Botanist, Architect
Birthdate: November 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 8, 1932

Landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll was born into an affluent family and grew up in a refined environment, learning music and traveling. Initially interested in painting, she gave it up to focus on gardening when she developed eyesight problems. She built around 400 gardens and also collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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 8 Matthias Jakob Schleiden

Matthias Jakob Schleiden
6
Famous As: Biologist, Botanist, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: April 5, 1804
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: June 23, 1881

 9 Luther Burbank

Luther Burbank
6
Famous As: Horticulturist, Geneticist, Botanist, Gardener, Academic, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: March 7, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Died: April 11, 1926

Luther Burbank was an American horticulturist and botanist. A pioneer in agricultural science, Luther Burbank developed over 800 varieties of plants and strains in an illustrious career that spanned 55 years. He is also credited with developing a spineless cactus that served as cattle feed. In 1986, Luther Burbank was made an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

 10 Joseph Dalton Hooker

Joseph Dalton Hooker
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 30, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halesworth, Suffolk, England
Died: December 10, 1911

British botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker is remembered as one of Charles Darwin’s greatest supporters. The man who is known as the pioneer of geographical botany, Hooker followed in the footsteps of his botanist father. The Copley Medal winner is also known for his iconic work Genera Plantarum.

 11 Patrick Geddes

Patrick Geddes
6
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: October 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1932

Apart from being a sociologist and biologist, Patrick Geddes was known for his impeccable sense of town planning. While he initially taught botany in Dundee, he later turned to sociology and conducted studies in India, Mexico, and other countries. He was eventually knighted for his achievements.

 12 David Starr Jordan

David Starr Jordan
6
Famous As: Botanist, Peace activist, Zoologist, Autobiographer, Ichthyologist
Birthdate: January 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gainesville (village), New York
Died: September 19, 1931

Remembered as the first president of the Leland Stanford Junior University, now known as Stanford University, David Starr Jordan was a reputed ichthyologist. An anti-war activist, too, who opposed America’s participation in World War I, he spent his later years as the chief director of the World Peace Foundation.

 13 Li Ching-Yuen

Li Ching-Yuen
6
Famous As: Herbalist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Chongqing, China
Died: May 6, 1933

Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese martial artist, herbalist, and tactical advisor. Li Ching-Yuen, who is believed to have lived off a diet of rice wine and exotic herbs throughout his life, is best remembered for his extreme longevity claim. According to his claim, Li Ching-Yuen lived for 250 years, although gerontologists consider that to be a myth.

 14 Ynes Mexia

Ynes Mexia
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: May 24, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: July 12, 1938

 15 Hugo de Vries

Hugo de Vries
7
Famous As: Botanist, Biologist, Geneticist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem
Died: May 21, 1935

 16 Martinus Beijerinck

Martinus Beijerinck
3
Famous As: Microbiologist
Birthdate: March 16, 1851
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: January 1, 1931

 17 Dmitri Ivanovsky

Dmitri Ivanovsky
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: October 28, 1864
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gdov, Russia
Died: June 20, 1920

Best remembered for his co-discovery of viruses during his research on the mosaic disease in tobacco, Russian botanist Dmitri Ivanovsky is regarded as one of the pioneers of virology. Interestingly, following his discovery, he didn’t focus on virology much and taught plant anatomy and physiology instead.

 18 Asa Gray

Asa Gray
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: November 18, 1810
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sauquoit, New York, United States
Died: January 30, 1888

 19 Daniel Rutherford

Daniel Rutherford
3
Famous As: Former physician, chemist and botanist who is known for the isolation of nitrogen in 1772
Birthdate: November 3, 1749
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1819

Best known for discovering nitrogen gas, Scottish chemist Daniel Rutherford was also initially a practicing physician. A skilled botanist, he also taught botany at the University of Edinburgh. His other inventions include the maximum and minimum thermometers. He also co-founded the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

 20 Joseph Banks Rhine

Joseph Banks Rhine
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: September 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 20, 1980

 21 Joel Roberts Poinsett

Joel Roberts Poinsett
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 2, 1779
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 12, 1851

 22 Philipp Franz von Siebold

Philipp Franz von Siebold
5
Famous As: Physician, Botanist
Birthdate: February 17, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: October 18, 1866

 23 William Bartram

William Bartram
3
Famous As: First Naturalist Who Penetrated the Dense Tropical Forests of Florida
Birthdate: April 20, 1739
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 22, 1823

 24 Francis Darwin

Francis Darwin
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: August 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kent
Died: September 19, 1925

Apart from being the third son of legendary naturalist Charles Darwin, Francis Darwin was a botanist in his own right, too. While he initially studied math, he later switched to natural sciences and then also studied medicine. He is best remembered for his contribution to phototropism.

 25 David Douglas

David Douglas
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 25, 1799
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Scone, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: July 12, 1834

 26 Lester Frank Ward

Lester Frank Ward
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 18, 1841
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States
Died: April 18, 1913

 27 Pierre-Joseph Redouté

Pierre-Joseph Redouté
5
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Hubert, Belgium
Died: June 19, 1840

Belgian-born French painter and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redouté, also known as the Raphael of flowers, was a famous court painter and one of the greatest botanical illustrators of his time. Known for his iconic pieces such as Les Liliacées, he was a specialist of painting roses, too.

 28 David Fairchild

David Fairchild
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: April 7, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, United States
Died: August 6, 1954

 29 Augustin Pyrame de Candolle

Augustin Pyrame de Candolle
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 4, 1778
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: September 9, 1841

Swiss botanist Augustin Pyrame de Candolle excelled in literature and poetry in school but later focused on botany. He is remembered for establishing scientific standards and classification for plant genera. Known for his Théorie élémentaire de la botanique, he later lent his name to several plant species and genera.

 30 Janaki Ammal

Janaki Ammal
7
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: 1897 AD
Birthplace: Thalassery
Died: 1984 AD

Janaki Ammal was an Indian botanist whose work concerning phytogeography, cytogenetics, and plant breeding earned her India's fourth-highest honor, the Padma Shri, in 1977. She is credited with improving India’s indigenous sugarcane varieties. She also helped analyze sugarcane's geographical distribution across India.

 31 Antoine Laurent de Jussieu

Antoine Laurent de Jussieu
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: April 12, 1748
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: September 17, 1836

 32 Adelbert von Chamisso

Adelbert von Chamisso
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 30, 1781
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sivry-Ante, France
Died: August 21, 1838

 33 Heinrich Anton de Bary

Heinrich Anton de Bary
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: January 26, 1831
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Died: January 19, 1888

German surgeon and botanist Heinrich Anton de Bary is regarded as the pioneer of plant pathology and mycology. Apart from teaching botany, he chalked the life cycles of many fungi and also coined the term symbiosis to explain the mutually beneficial co-existence of many orgnanisms, such as fungi and algae.

 34 Mikhail Tsvet

Mikhail Tsvet
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: May 14, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Asti, Italy
Died: June 26, 1919

 35 Ferdinand von Mueller

Ferdinand von Mueller
3
Famous As: Physician & Geographer
Birthdate: June 30, 1825
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rostock, Germany
Died: October 10, 1896

Ferdinand von Mueller was a German-Australian geographer, physician, and botanist. He is credited with founding the National Herbarium of Victoria, the oldest scientific institution in Victoria. He is also credited with naming several Australian plants. Such is his popularity that many plants, animals, journals, and places in Australia are named after him. 

 36 Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen

Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen
3
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 11, 1927

 37 John Lindley

John Lindley
3
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 5, 1799
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Old Catton, England
Died: November 1, 1865

The son of a nurseryman, British botanist John Lindley revolutionized the plant classification system by introducing a method of considering all characters of plants. Known for his iconic work The Vegetable Kingdom, he also had a wide collection of orchids, which eventually found a place at the Kew Gardens.

 38 Birbal Sahni

Birbal Sahni
17
Famous As: Palaeobotanist
Birthdate: 1891 AD
Birthplace: Saharanpur district
Died: April 10, 1949

Birbal Sahni was a pioneer of palaeobotanical research in India. The founder of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, he also taught botany at BHU and Lucknow University. He was also interested in music and tennis, and loved collecting coins. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society, too.

 39 Frederic Edward Clements

Frederic Edward Clements
3
Famous As: Botanist and ecologist
Birthdate: September 16, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Died: July 26, 1945

 40 Lorenz Oken

Lorenz Oken
2
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: August 1, 1779
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bohlsbach, Germany
Died: August 11, 1851

 41 William Jackson Hooker

William Jackson Hooker
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: July 6, 1785
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: August 12, 1865

Botanist William Jackson Hooker made history as the first director of the Kew Gardens, or the Royal Botanic Gardens. Born to a merchant’s clerk who was also an amateur botanist, Hooker developed an interest in insects, birds, and plants at an early age. He was also known for his plant illustrations.

 42 John Stevens Henslow

John Stevens Henslow
3
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: February 6, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rochester, England
Died: May 16, 1861

John Stevens Henslow was not just a priest but also revolutionized the teaching methods of botany at Cambridge University. One of his students was legendary naturalist Charles Darwin. He also co-founded the Cambridge Philosophical Society and explored various regions, such as the Isle of Man, as a geologist.

 43 Carl Correns

Carl Correns
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: September 19, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: February 14, 1933

 44 Ludwig von Köchel

Ludwig von Köchel
2
Famous As: Austrian musician
Birthdate: January 14, 1800
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Krems an der Donau, Austria
Died: June 3, 1877

Austrian musicologist, composer, writer, botanist and publisher Ludwig von Köchel is best-known for creating the Köchel catalogue, a chronological and thematic register of works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Köchel also arranged works of Mozart into 24 categories and Breitkopf & Härtel used this while publishing the first complete edition of Mozart's works titled Alte Mozart-Ausgabe.

 45 Harry Johnston

Harry Johnston
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 12, 1858
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kennington Park, London,England
Died: July 31, 1927

British botanist Harry Johnston is remembered for his extensive exploratory voyages to Africa. His explorations gave way to the 19th-century Scramble for Africa by colonial powers. He had also been a painter and a freelance journalist in his initial days in Africa. He also penned countless books on Africa.

 46 Michel Adanson

Michel Adanson
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: April 7, 1727
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France
Died: August 3, 1806

 47 Julius von Sachs

Julius von Sachs
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: October 2, 1832
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: May 29, 1897

 48 John Claudius Loudon

John Claudius Loudon
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: April 8, 1783
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambuslang, Scotland
Died: December 14, 1843

Scottish gardener and landscape artist John Claudius Loudon was also an influential horticultural journalist who wrote extensively on gardens, parks, and home architecture. Known for introducing the Gardenesque style of décor and popularizing the concept of arboretum, he also penned the widely popular The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion.

 49 Gottlieb Haberlandt

Gottlieb Haberlandt
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: November 28, 1854
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ungarisch-Alternburg, Hungary
Died: January 30, 1945

 50 Thomas Nuttall

Thomas Nuttall
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: January 5, 1786
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Long Preston, England
Died: September 10, 1859

English botanist and naturalist Thomas Nuttal is best known for his popular volume The Genera of North American Plants. He later taught natural history at Harvard and also studied birds, eventually releasing a book on American birds, too. He also undertook a voyage to Columbia River and Hawaii.